Sunday 23 April 2017

David McWilliams: The State must become the Ryanair of house builders

The lack of affordable houses is driving wage inflation. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA
The lack of affordable houses is driving wage inflation. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

The main reason the public-sector unions are on strike is the price of housing. Sort out housing and we begin to sort out lots of things that are problematic in the economy. Unless the State gets to grips with the fact that middle-ranking workers can't find a place to live in this country, there will be higher and higher wage demands.

If the State could - either itself or via collaboration with the private developers - accelerate cheap house/apartment-building, much of the upward pressure on costs in this country would dissipate. The huge and rising cost of accommodation for people in their twenties and thirties is driving wage demands.

Once wage demands are acquiesced to in one area, then they will spread throughout the public sector like a virus in a creche.

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